If you’re a part of our Facebook group Lil Helper: Unsnapped then you know at Lil Helper we are all about honest and supportive parenting talk. And being real, not all groups are. The world is full of people who want to give their 2 cents on your parenting choices, and sometimes it can be less than helpful. Here are 11 stories from our community where parents have felt judged... for healthy, normal choices that work for their families!
Judged for Sleep Training... or Not
My lil man was really struggling with naps for a while and everyone kept telling me to sleep train him. 'You don't want to rock him when he's 2...you can't hold him forever etc.' I couldn't, CIO is not for us... He's now 11 months, goes down for a nap/bedtime with whoever is here, bottle or no bottle, rocking or no rocking. Sometimes he has a little party at 2am, talking/giggling/babbling to himself, but he goes back to sleep no problems. Without sleep training. - Kris
Shame on the Snugglers
Another thing is baby wearing. My parents and in-laws kept saying “you’ll spoil her by holding/wearing her all the time”. Well, I’ll hold my baby as much as I like!! She is the happiest, thriving darling who loves cuddles and has a great bond with both her mom and dad. -Jocelyn
Parenting Choices in a Pandemic
When my daughter was born everyone wanted to meet her immediately when we brought her home from the hospital. We told all of them we would not be accepting in person visits in the middle of COVID-19 until her immune system could build up. We were constantly told it was ridiculous we were waiting as long as the doctors recommended. Some family members even tried to use what other parents they knew were doing to try and convince us to let them hold her. It was especially hard when our families would try to come between my husband and I to get one of us to change our minds. No one told me the hardest part of parenting was setting boundaries with those you love to protect your children. - Jessica
Side-eye on Safety
Being a helicopter parent. We have a certain way we do things in our household for the safety of our precious children. Some people have given us looks or made comments in regards to us making sure we keep our children safe or for being over protective. Making sure there are no choking hazards around, food is being cut properly, car seats are installed properly etc. To me, those are no joke and should always be taken seriously. I'm a helicopter parent and I'm not sorry for it. - Stacy
Mom Shamed for Baby Led Weaning
While pregnant with my small I had done a ton of research and decided we would try baby led weaning. It took a ton of work, education and teaching to get everyone involved in caretaking on board and comfortable. I'm sure they thought I was a bit extra when I packed or wrote down what and how things should be served to her, but it was very important to me that no one deviated from our plan and always kept safety in mind. Eventually it become second nature to everyone and they were really amazed with it in the long run! - Vanessa
Allergy Alert with a Side of Judgement
Allergies. Our daughter has very severe life threatening allergies. Often we have felt like an inconvenience to others because of these allergies which restrict where we can go and what we can eat. Some friends and family do not understand the severity or even doubt that they are real. But we are grateful that we have only had to give our now 2 year old an EpiPen once. Finding or modifying recipes, missing out on social outings, being “picky” with who cares for our daughter (even if that excludes family) do not feel like sacrifices because she is our daughter and we would do anything to keep her safe! - Katelynn
Don’t Mess With My Parenting... or my Sleep
Naps. Family kept inviting us to gatherings during nap times. We were clear we could come during certain hours and would leave before sleep so baby could either sleep in the car or when we got home. We had no expectation that anyone would change their times for us, but wanted them to know what our availability was.
People kept saying skipping one nap wouldn't hurt baby. Hah! Skipping one nap threw the whole day off, messed up bedtime, put baby in a bad mood, made me cry, made dad frustrated. It was a whole thing. We don't skip naps here. - Robyn
Setting Hard Boundaries
Hubby’s dad and step-mother were, and still are, toxic and gaslit him for most of his life. When our son was born, and again with our daughter, we get a lot of “why aren’t they around; did you invite them to X; etc”. We tried with our son to involve them but they chose not to be involved, and made a million excuses for why they couldn’t attend special events, while lying about being invited to the rest of his family. It became too draining on us to go through the cycle of asking and confirming the dates multiple times then them flaking at the last moment so we decided that enough was enough. We will not be inviting them to Christmas or birthdays, or any other event because why should our kids be constantly let down by someone who can’t be bothered to be a decent person. Our kids deserve family members who love them and show them they care. My kids are awesome so it’s their loss. While some of my family members questioned our decision, they have all been supportive and understanding of why we have done it. - Jessica
Measure Smiles not Soap
Bath time! Being a parent for the first time is overwhelming and some things might go out the window. We were told that there is no need to rush the first bath of baby. So we didn’t and as of now we don’t wash our baby every single day. It was a big problem for my mom and she kept bringing it up. In fact, every time she sees us, one of the first questions she asks is “are you giving baby a bath tonight?”. Our baby is healthy, very happy and she knows she is loved very much (she knows how to blow kisses at not even 1yo)! - Alexandra
Breastfeeding in Public
On one side of the family, I had an old school dad who felt awkward any time I had to breastfeed in front of him which he knew was "wrong" but couldn't help it and honestly, I was okay with because personally, I was more comfortable going to a quiet room and taking the time out with my LO.
The other side of the family however, was so forceful about me staying in the room and breastfeeding in front of them even though I explained many times that I simply preferred to step away. They made me feel like I was going against my rights as a woman and a bad mother for taking my child away to another room when in actuality, everyone should simply have the right to choose what they feel works best for them. - Francesca
One more on the Feeding Shame Train...
For whatever reason, transitioning to solids stressed me out and caused my anxiety to peak. He just couldn't get the hang of baby led weaning at first, and purees are so messy. One day while he was eating, our neighbor was out cleaning his car. We poked our heads out and said, hey, could you detail this baby while you're at it? He came in, saw our son covered head to toe in food and they both had the biggest smiles on their faces. He said, "It's so great that you just let him get dirty." And we do! We have a ton of Smockets to help and he dances when he sees them because he knows he gets to get messy. - Grace
Submissions left unedited, excluding minor typos.
Have you ever been judged for something as a parent? Tell us your story in the comments below!